Finding a great place to live and a community that will age with you can be a challenge for anyone, but it becomes even more important if you are single. For people who don’t have children or don’t have children or family living nearby, the support that many people need while they age is something that has to be constructed intentionally over time.
Retiring without a Partner
The New York Times reported recently about the growing number of older Americans who are unmarried and childless, and is expected to grow to 16% of women age 80 to 84 by 2030. In addition, AARP estimates that 23% of baby boomers may end up as elder orphans- someone who is aging alone without family members to help with their care, and that number doesn’t include elders with family members who are unable to help and assist them for a variety of reasons. That means there is a greater need for planning and creating care communities, and that’s at the heart of what makes Kendal-Crosslands communities so special.
Choose a Supportive Community
It’s easy to look at Kendal-Crosslands communities as simply a continuing care retirement community, that has a variety of cottages and apartments and provides guaranteed long term care for each resident. But the most important part of Kendal-Crosslands Communities is the Community itself. Unlike other communities, the Residents are the organizers of all the committees, activities, trips, and community involvement- not the staff. While the staff helps and assists, it is the residents who start up committees based on their own interests- and the interests are varied and impressive. The Community helped create the Chester Charter School for the Arts; over 40 residents are serving as ESL tutors for local families, and they have collected over 3,000 lbs of food for the local food bank. And that’s on top of the over 100 committees that foster intergenerational activities, run the Gateway Gift Shop, organize entertainment and evening lectures, and work on outreach inside and outside the community itself.
New residents find making new friends is easier than it’s ever been before, in part because the residents are welcoming and share the same approach to aging. While it’s natural to worry about feeling like the ‘new kid on the block’, new residents are greeted by the welcoming committee, and at dinner, you may be invited to sit with other residents, helping you to meet people and feel at home. Many people also spend time with outside groups they love or spend time enjoying the quiet and beautiful grounds- you can be as involved as you want to be or not- it is up to you!
Many residents talk about how after moving in, they are often issued a word of caution to take their time and not get too involved in the community too quickly- there’s so much to do, it can be a little overwhelming at first. But the sense of Community created by the residents, for the residents, is what truly sets Kendal-Crosslands communities apart, and it continues whether you are in good health or need assistance and support.
Every resident, including those living in assisted and skilled nursing care, participate in community activities, are welcomed in the dining room, and are full members of the community. Sara Leff, whose Uncle Harry is currently in skilled nursing care for breathing difficulties, says that the only time Harry is in his room is when he needs to go back every 3 -4 hours to change out his oxygen tank! He is out doing things with his friends and enjoying everything the community has to offer, even though he needs more care with his current health issues. The friends he’s made since moving into Crosslands as a widower have helped him thrive even as he has progressed through different levels of care.
Whether you have great family support or not as much as you’d like due to distance or other factors, Kendal-Crosslands communities can offer you the friendships and support that are so important to keeping you young and vital as you age. We see every day the friendships that people form at Kendal-Crosslands communities, and how it enriches their life as they explore new interests or dormant ones, and find others who enjoy similar activities. There are plenty of studies and reports that show that loneliness can have negative effects on your health, and the antidote is available here, in our special and welcoming community of friends.
If you’d like to learn more about Kendal-Crosslands Communities, click here to download our digital brochure.